Culture

Galileo’s Moons on a day like today

Today, way back in 1610,  Galileo Galilei sighted four of Jupiter’s moons. The four moons were the first group of objects found to orbit another planet.  Galileo went on to name them  Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto and set the course for astronomy, telecommunications and movies.  Well, in a convoluted, yet simple, way. I will get back to that in a few sentences. Last year Earth was in the orbital plane of Jupiter’s moons meaning that Jupiter’s four bright moons were directly in our line of sight. This will not happen again until 2021. Regardless, January 7th is a big day for wackiness.

 

Besides Jupiter’s four moon’s being discovered on this day,  in 1894 W.K. Dickson received a patent for motion picture film.  And so started our big love affair with film.  Then on this day in 1927, transatlantic telephone service began between New York and London. In total, there were 31 calls made on that first day of service.  Now, we skype, text, and share selfies across the globe throughout social media. Then, in 1954 there was the Georgetown-IBM experiment in which the first public demonstration of a machine translation system, was held in New York at IBM’s head office . Our wacky obsessive, love affair with technology, computers and tablets has taken root on a day like today.

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There have also been tragedies on a day like today. Just last year, there was a mass shooting in France. January 7th is a day written in the stars as temperamental with potential bouts of genius and potential buckets of tears. May there be moments of inspired genius.

 

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